Monday 30 June 2014


Characters © DC Thomson & Co. Ltd.
I'm working on some puzzle pages for The Beano at present. I sent one off the other day and I've just emailed another completed one to Beano HQ. (There's part of it above, when it was in the pencil stage earlier.) 

The rewarding thing about doing puzzle pages is getting the chance to draw characters I wouldn't normally be assigned to, such as The Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx. Very enjoyable, although thinking up the actual puzzles can take a while.

The puzzles should start appearing in The Beano in a few weeks' time I guess. I'll blog about them again when they're in print. Never Be Without A Beano!

Thursday 26 June 2014

Art and Action Man

I have a couple of items on eBay this week that I hope may interest some of you. Firstly, there's a page of original Viz artwork in the form of a complete Suicidal Syd story I did a few years ago. Back ink on Bristol Board. Visit my eBay site here to see more photos of the page:

The other thing I'm selling isn't comic related, but is a piece of my childhood. An Action Man figure I had for Christmas 1970. The first bearded Action Man! Complete and in its box, plus Equipment Manual. You can see that with more photos if you click this link:

Both auctions end on Sunday evening. All bids very welcome! Thanks for looking.

Below: That's me, Christmas 1970, with two of my presents for that year. The very Action Man I'm now selling, plus the first Whizzer and Chips Annual (which isn't for sale). My dog Judy (1963 to 1978) is in the foreground. 

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Lord Snooty and his Pals

For many years the full title of The Beano's Lord Snooty strip was Lord Snooty and his Pals. The 'Pals' being a bunch of kids from the poorer side of town that Snooty enjoyed hanging around with. 

In this week's Lord Snooty mini-strip I've brought back a couple of those pals to make a guest appearance. Swanky Lanky Liz and Big Fat Joe were their original names, but these days they're simply Liz and Joe. I've redesigned them both to bring them into the 21st Century a bit but Liz is still swanky and lanky, and Joe is still a big lad. (Incidentally, both characters had their own strips back in the early days of The Beano, before becoming part of the Lord Snooty cast.)

You can expect another pal, Scrapper Smith, to turn up in a week or two. In the strips I've drawn so far I've only included Scrapper, Liz, and Joe, but I may bring in one or two of the others if a suitable gag occurs to me (or if the editors want me to of course). Obviously as this Lord Snooty series are single tier mini-strips they'd be a bit too crowded to feature all of the Pals together unless it's necessary for the joke.

Anyway, I hope you're enjoying my run on Lord Snooty so far. The latest Beano is out now, priced just £2.00 for 36 full colour, all-new pages.  

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Mad Robot!

Here's a photograph of part of my latest Team Toxic strip, Mad Robot! You can read the full story in Toxic No.239, in the shops now for £2.99.

And if your kids want to play at being a mad robot there's a free robot hand grabber with this issue! 

Tuesday 17 June 2014

The Gasworks Gang 2014

One of the things I'm enjoying about working on the Lord Snooty strip is that I'm bringing in some of his old supporting characters. That includes Snooty's enemies The Gasworks Gang! (No relation to the gang of the same name who later appeared in IPC's Cor!! of course.)

I always enjoyed seeing this surly, scruffy band of bullies getting their comeuppance in the Lord Snooty strips of the 1960s. I've redesigned them a bit but they're still the same resentful bunch of thugs, - and they'll still get their just deserts if they mess with Snooty!

Lord Snooty appears in The Beano every Wednesday. Only £2.

Friday 13 June 2014

A trio of Tom Thugs

It's Tom Thug Weekend on eBay! (Well, according to me anyway.) There are three pages of original Tom Thug artwork up for auction, which ends this Sunday (15th June). 

Each page is from a different period of the strip's run:

The 1988 Easter theme page from the early days when Tom Thug was in Oink! 

One of the first Tom Thug's Skooldayz pages from just after Oink! had merged into Buster. (1988)

A full colour Tom Thug on 'Oliday page from the later years of the strip's run in Buster. (1993)

All bids are very welcome. I will of course combine postage if you win more than one page. 

You can see more photos of the artwork on my eBay page here:

Good luck!

Wednesday 11 June 2014

A Snooty preview

Here's a quick glimpse at the second Lord Snooty mini-strip that I did. You can read the full strip in the latest Beano, on sale now! 

How's the availability of The Beano in your area? Stock has been drastically cut back in my town this week but I managed to buy the one copy that my local WH Smiths had. No sign of it in any other newsagent in the town centre on the day of publication.

Retail and wholesale are a bit of a mystery to me but from what a local newsagent told me, the wholesaler calls the shots, treating publications like any other 'brand'. Your corner shop might order six copies of a title, knowing he'll sell them, but the wholesaler sometimes supplies them with less, encouraging the shop to take another 'brand' (ie: comic) as a try out! Then a newsagent elsewhere gets the extra copies of the comic that the other newsagent wanted, just so the wholesaler can see 'how they perform' in that area. 

It's probable that the newsagent can get more copies if they insist, but that takes extra effort and they have a lot of stock to deal with as it is. Most would think it wasn't worth their time to complain.

It seems like absolute madness to treat comics like tins of baked beans, and is surely detrimental to any publisher. I would hope that anyone with a standing order would still be able to get their copy from their shops, but what about casual buyers, or people like me who prefer to buy them off the shelf? The Beano was selling well in my area, but this week there are going to be some disappointed children who won't be able to get a copy unless their parents travel around searching shops out of town. A week is a long time for a child, and if they start to miss copies it's not long before they lose the habit of buying it at all. 

Anyway, if you can grab a copy, The Beano is out now, priced just £2. 

Monday 9 June 2014

The last Rasher

I understand that there's no Rasher strip in next week's Beano so presumably the one in the current issue is the last. There is one strip that hasn't been published but perhaps that'll be used at a later date. 

Anyway, the strip in the current issue is the last one I drew and, as you can see from the panel above, Rasher takes a holiday by the seaside, which I felt would be appropriate for the final one.

I've really enjoyed writing and drawing the Rasher mini-strips and I hope he'll return one day. In the meantime, I'm busy on Lord Snooty and drawing pages for the 2016 annuals. 

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Lord Snooty starts today!

This week's issue of The Beano sees the start of my new Lord Snooty mini-strip. I'm privileged to be the latest artist to write and draw this classic character (who first appeared in The Beano No.1 in 1938) and I hope Snooty's new exploits prove entertaining.

There's a preview pic above, and below is a photograph of the original artwork before I filled in more of the blacks and scanned it into Photoshop to apply the colour.

The latest Beano also features my penultimate Rasher strip. Out with the old, in with the new! 

The Beano. Out now. £2.00 

Sunday 1 June 2014

Rasher at the movies

How's Rasher going to get into the cinema when it's 'No Pigs Allowed'? Find out in the latest Beano, on sale now!